Kentucky’s elementary school students can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program(FFVP), a federal program designed to increase elementary school children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, to expose those students to new fruits and vegetables, to improve healthy eating habits and to help elementary schools create healthier school food environments.
At a minimum of $50 per student over the course of the year, nearly 55,000 students can be served through the program.
Eligible elementary schools (those that contain any combination of grades preschool through 6) may fill out grant applications to receive program funding. Kentucky received $2.7 million in FFVP funding for the 2012-13 school year. The criteria for the grants is set by Section 19(d) of the National School Lunch Act:
- To the maximum extent possible, highest priority will be given to schools with the highest proportion of children who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
- Schools must be elementary schools or have the ability to separate out elementary school students in a K-12 program.
- Schools must operate the National School Lunch Program.
- Schools must have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free/reduced-price meals.
The grant application deadline is 4 p.m. ET Monday, May 21. Grants will be awarded this summer, for use in the 2012-13 school year.
Applications for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant MUST provide the following:
- a plan for implementation and operation of the program that includes a partnership with one or more entities that provide non-federal resources (including entities representing the fruit and vegetable industry) for the acquisition, handling, promotion or distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables; or other support that contributes to the purposes of the program, such as nutrition education
- a certification of support signed by the school food service manager, the school principal and the district superintendent
- a show of a continuing emphasis on student health and wellness
As part of the program, schools are encouraged to establish partnerships at the local level with grocers, health departments or extension services.
The application is available at Competitive Grants from KDE. School district officials are encouraged to download the application, complete and submit the paperwork as per the instructions in the Request For Application and provide the appropriate signatures. Multiple schools from the same district can apply, although not all are guaranteed to be chosen.
More information is available on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp.